A travel blog of a journey that I started in 2010 and I don't know when it will end ...

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Valle del Elqui, where the sky and the Pisco comes together

I arrive at Pisco Elqui at the evening, its dark. I changed bus at La Serena to get here, Pisco Elqui.
I stay at Hostal San Pedro. Here I meet Daniel (Switzerland), he is traveling by bike. We go for a walk around the small and empty village. We go back at the hostel to have some beers before sleep.

Next morning me and Daniel we go for a walk near Pisco Elqui. We walk as much as we can rich because the sun is heating hard and the mountains are without trees.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

One year traveling around

Yeah, already a year that I’ve start this travel adventure that came’s from a wish when I was 20, and I was living in London.

I have been in many places that I wanted to go like Vietnam, Laos, Japan, Australia and Patagònia. I also visit places that weren’t on my first plan and have surprised me like Perhentian island in Malaysia, the south of China, Chiloe, Iguaçu and the south of Brazil.

I thought about taking the flight back that I have for now (The Roundtheworld ticket is only valid for 12 months) or not, but didn’t take me a lot of time to decide to make a little bit longer my trip.

So, I’ll be traveling on my rhythm along faraway lands sending posts telling what I am doing.

The Rhythm of the traveler, apart to be personal, changes every day you wake up. From the sun light that came’s from the window or from the clock alarm that warn you that you have to do the Check-out of the hostel or you have to run to catch a bus.

Because I am moving all the time, I have to take a lot of transports, sleep in so many different places, try to bargain always for save some money that can help to do another thing (you can see I am not like a politician here..). Because there are activities that one wants to do it and even there are expensive, when you are there you have to pay and enjoy it.
Do a long time travel is like having a job without fix hours and no holidays. The good thing is that you have chosen to do it.

Those days in Santiago I’ve stayed at Luis (Germán brother) place and his family. Has been three days of personal time, choosing staff that I send to Tarragona (at the end I send 10kg!), to relax a little and watch the match MOUdrid 0 – Barça 2.
My camera has been affected for crossing the Andes and in two days didn’t work at all. Luckily after two days work again before I bought another new one.

Right now I have Valle del Elqui, the desert of Atacama and Bolivia in my mint. My closest future. As I want to continue making real my wishes, I’m going there.

Versió catalana

Monday, April 25, 2011

Mendoza, wine and mountains

I arrive at Mendoza around 9 in the morning. At the bus station I get information on how the get to Puente del Inca and if there is an options to continue to Santiago from there. It’s possible. Around the station Mario is giving information about his hostel, I take the brochure and we chatted a bit.

I go to his hostel, and almost without unpacking the backpack, I meet Virginia (Chile) that she is going to bike around the wineries of Maipú. I join her without thinking.

We started visiting the Museo del Vino de la Bodega La Rural, a good introduction to various systems that have been using for years. Then we go to the winery Viña Cerno, where we join a tour of the facilities ...

The following is the winery Bodega Di Tomasso family, here we do a tour and tasting of 5 wines. It is the oldest winery in Maipú.

We are hungry. We stopped at a market to buy something for lunch because is already 15:30 ...

The last winery we visit is the Carinae, we do a tour and tasting. For my taste is the best we’ve been today.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Buenos Aires, the second round

After leaving BA by train to Posadas, visit Iguazu, the southern coast of Brazil and Uruguay I returned to Buenos Aires.
This time I stay in San Telmo. I like the atmosphere it breathes, the cobbled streets and bars and restaurants that fill every corner.

I had this thing that sometimes happen when you are looking for something and you cannot find it even if it’s just next to you. We went to San Telmo, and see what hostel we can find, but it seems they have removed the posters... It was imposible to find any. We stop for a coffe with Christina, and we look on internet for specifics directions. We end up at the Asterion Hostel (Peru 1043) quiet and central.
We go to see the neighborhood at night and we eat a steak of chorizo, spectacular!
We were hungry ...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Uruguay ... Punta del Diablo, La Paloma, Punta del Este, Montevideo and Colonia del Sacramento

The bus from Porto Alegre arrives at Chuí town(BR) at the Brazilian border. Once we pass the customs border office, we walk to the bus stop on the Uruguayan Chuy ...

The line of the border is defined in the middle of one wide street..., it's curious because the telephone cabins, taxis and the signs are different on each side of the street.
I withdraw Uruguayan pesos and I take another bus to Punta del Diablo.

The landscape I see from now on is without large buildings, only small houses a certain distance from the coast, and Virgin Beaches. A magic place.

Now it is low season and there are not many people (for me much better) and prices are cheaper than "normal". We stayed at the Diablo Tranquilo hostel, beach front and very comfortable.
Here you can see all the acomodation options in Punta del Diablo

Once installed, we go by bus to Santa Teresa National Park to visit the Fortress of Santa Teresa, and we walk back along the coast and making some stops to swim at the sea even though the currents are strong.
Relax and sun ...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Porto Alegre

At Porto Alegre I spend the day. I want to take a night bus at 23:30 to the border of Uruguay.
So we left the baggage at the station and walk to the center. We have a cheap and nice lunch at the Mercado Central.


For those who do not know, my middle name is Canela, and my mother is not only first but also Canela Canela middle name! So when I read that there was a beautiful village named Canela it was on my way, I decided to take a look.

Canela is with Gramado (neighboring village), the gateway to several national parks with plenty of water and greenery. With astyle of architecture between German and Swiss Alps, you have to the feeling of being in the Alps.
The most spectacular in the village is the majestic Cathedral of Nossa Senhora Lourdes (also known as Catedral de Pedra), and at night they light in a very colorful way.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Parque Nacional dos Aparados da Serra

The gateway we have chosen to go Aparados da Serra is Praia Grande. There are no beach and is not big, but is 10 km from the Trilha do Rio do Boi and 22 of the entrance to the park itself.

In the village we look for accommodation and we end up at HI Nativo dos Canyons... I do camping and Christina shared room. The place is fine, but I left feeling that the person who runs the place is not very helpful.

We spoke with the woman runs the hostel to see how we can make Trilha do Rio do Boi (which can only be done with local guide), she gives us the prices list... the same amount applies for 4 persons than only for one (140 Reales, around 70€) and excluding transportation! We don’t find nobody else to ask if wants to share the costs ... So, we finally take the guide with the condition that he will pick up to save transportation (40 Reales, about 20 €)
After all the headache of thinking about the guide, I plant the tent, and 5 minutes starts to rain hard... I think the tent needed a wash, but not like that!
At 8 am, the guide picks up us, and we go towards the river do Boi.
We put some protection to the possible cuts of stones river and start walking towards the songs do Itaimbezinho (in Tupi-Guarani language Ita means stone and Aí'be means sharpening).
We cross the river about 30 times! With shoes and water almost the waist.
The valley it goes closing until it begins Canyon with its high stone walls and granite with waterfalls and water leaks everywhere.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Ilha de Santa Catarina

We arrived at Florianopolis at 21h, and leave the bus to get in another local bus to go to Barra da Lagoa where there is a hostel that we have been recommended "Barra Beach Club”.
It is really high recommended. The situation, the views and the atmosphere makes it difficult to leave this place.

After taking the "Café da Manhã" we went to Armacao, having to do a couple of changes of urban buses, to walk till Pantano do Sulto by the coast. We walk the beach Matadeiro and Lagoinha do Leste that are in a municipal park. Virgin territory.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Ilha do Mel, another island that you can get lost.

The bus from Curitiba left me at Pontal do Paraná, and in less than half an hour boat trip I arrive at Ilha do Mel. I choose Encantadas because I’ve hear that is less crowed and more authentic (I think that now march – April all the parts of the island are quiet...).

I stay at Hostel Marimar, that is in at the first line of the beach, and even is good and the breakfast is great, I didn’t really liked... details as the television when is the breakfast and the closing time for the common area at 21:30, are noticeable. The recommendation would be stay at the Encantadas Hostel, which is 20 meters from the beach but much cozier and half price. With what you save you can take a couple of Caipirinyes!